Race #277 – Spencer Mountain 5k – Ranlo, NC – 11/08/14

I was planning to run the 10-miler at one of my favorite Gaston County races but after missing the previous weekend’s races because of having a cold I decided to not overdo it and run the 5k instead. That was probably a good decision, although not as good of a decision as avoiding racing altogether and taking another recovery week as I managed to run my slowest 5k of 2014 at 22:56. I’d like to blame it on the hills but it was actually pretty flat except for a short stretch a quarter of a mile or so down Spencer Mountain and back up.

There were some bright spots, most notably professional quality photographs taken by Matthew Gregory (I think he’s part owner of the running store in Belmont but I’m not positive). Either way, he’s apparently got a great DSLR camera and knows how to use it and took fantastic hi-res photos and posted them on Flickr for free. That’s a huge perk for a race, especially since race photographers tend to charge outrageous prices for their photos. There were photos of virtually every runner in the race and multiple photos of many runners. It would be great to have pics like this every year and over time it would probably make the race more popular than ever.

Here’s a photo of me taken by Matthew Gregory. I sized this one to be viewed
on the blog. The original is huge! Many of the other photos look better than mine of course
(the person in the photo does make a difference).

This is a well established race but still not too big (131 finishers in the 5k and 96 finishers in the 10-miler). I suspect a lot of folks are scared away from the challenge that the 10-mile race presents. It’s famous for the huge hill in the ninth mile and there are also a couple other major hills before you reach that one as you’re going to the small town of Spencer Mountain, but the first 5 miles of the race are actually flat so it’s not as bad as some people might think, and it’s a beautiful race in the autumn.

Here’s speedy Matt Longworth winning the 10-miler!
(I actually took this photo with the camera on my phone)

Click Here for Race Results

Click Here for Race Photos on Flickr

Click Here for Race Photos on the YMCA Facebook Page (214 pics)

Charlotte running friend (and faithful reader of my blog) Aaron Chan had a great race.

My Stats:

Time:  22:56
Pace:  7:07 (the race was a little long, measured by my Garmin at 3.25 miles)
Age Group:  1 of  4
Overall:  10 of  131 (7.6)
Average Heart Rate:  168
Age Graded Equivalent Time:  18:07 (71.18%)


3 – Chip Timing: (3 points if yes)
0 – Starting Mat: (2 points if yes)
2 – Water Stops: (0)none  (2)normal  (5)extras [Gu, sports drink, etc.]
1 – Course Marking:  (0)bad  (1)good
4 – Course Scenery:  (0-5) 1=bad  and 5=fantastic
1 – Mile Markers: (0)poor or none  (1)normal  (2)with clocks or time called out
2 – Volunteers:  (0)too few  (2)good
6 – Finish line: (0-9)   0=bad  and 9=spectacular!
2 – Certified Course: (0)no  (2) yes
2 – Correct Distance: (0)no  (2)yes (a little long is okay… 3.25 miles)
1 – Partly or fully on unpaved roads:  (0)yes  (1)no

2 – Cost:  (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!
3 – Race Day Registration:  (0)no  (3)yes

2 – Posted promptly online:  (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Clear link on website:  (0)no  (1)yes

2 – 3 deep awards: (2)yes (0 for anything less)
5 – 5-year age groups (5 points) (0 for anything less)
1 – 14 and under group (1)
1 – 65+ group (1)
1 – 70+ group (1)
2 – Top Overall M/F:  (0)none or first only  (2)top 3 or better
0 – Masters Category(40+): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Grand Masters Category (50+):  (0)no  (3)yes
0 – Senior Grand Masters Category: (0)no  (5)yes

2 – Overall Winner Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
2 – Age Group Awards: (0)none  (2)yes  (5)excellent
0 – Door Prizes or Drawing: (0)no  (2)yes   (5-9)fabulous door prizes!
3* – Finisher Medals for All Finishers: (0)no  (3)yes  (5)really cool medals
    *Medals for finishers of 10-mile race

3 – Food for Race Participants: (0-10 with 5 being average)
5 – Entertainment:  (0)no  (1-9)yes
2 – Finisher times posted after race:  (0)no  (2)yes

2 – Porta Potties:  (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful (only a couple needed)
2 – Indoor Restrooms: (0)no  (1)limited, long lines  (2)plentiful

2 – T-Shirts: (0)no  (2)yes
1 – Design: (0)not good  (1)not bad  (2)nice  (5)beautiful!
0 – Material: (0)cotton  (2)technical fabric
0 – Discount for no-shirt option:  (0)no (2)yes

5 – Professional Photography: (0)no  (5)yes
5 – Prices: (0)expensive  (2)reasonable  (5)cheap!  (FREE!)
5 – Free Photographs (newspaper, etc.):  (0)no  (2)yes  (5)lots of free pics!

2 – Close to Start:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Close to Finish:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Plenty of spaces:  (2)yes  (0)no
2 – Free Parking:  (2)yes  (0)no

2 – Shelter from Inclement Weather (needed or not): (0)no  (2)yes
0 – Swag (free socks, water bottles, etc.): (0)no  (2)yes, some  (5)excellent
2 – Part of race series or Grand Prix:  (0)no  (2)yes (YMCA Race Series)
0 – Kids Fun Run: (0)no   (2)yes
x – Miscellaneous not covered above: (-10 to +10)

TOTAL:  95

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